The last thing I wanted was to be diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy.
I had watched family members and friends be diagnosed with it, and as I saw them manage it in their pregnancies, I declared that I was not going to have any of it. The daily blood sugar checks, as well as the regimented monitoring of my diet. And I couldn't imagine having to poke my fingers daily to draw blood for my glucometer measurements.
So when I was confirmed to have Gestational Diabetes (GD) when I was pregnant, I was so disappointed and upset. I couldn't indulge in sweets the way that I thought I could, (and the way that my cravings told me they wanted me to!) and my diet had to be closely monitored.
I sought the advice of those I knew had GD, and quickly moved on from my initial feelings of disappointment, into something resembling (yes) gratitude.
As I incorporated and educated myself about diabetes management, I began to appreciate the benefits (gasp) of having GD.
1. Good for me really IS good for baby
Monitoring my blood sugars during pregnancy prevented any chances of my baby developing hyperglycemia postpartum. It made me even more conscientious about what I was putting into my body, and as such, was directly affecting my baby's overall growth. I had to follow a specific diet and be aware at every meal, but it likely resulted in a more healthy pregnancy overall.
2. Exercise is good for all
I was advised to take a walk after every meal, which initially seemed hard to accomplish at work. But after I started sharing that I had GD, I found support in co-workers who would accompany me on my daily walks. It also served as a good reminder for self-care for all of us at work, who may normally work through our allotted break times.
3. Wellness matters—now more than ever
Overall, my experience with gestational diabetes ended up having a positive effect on my pregnancy. It made me more sensitive to the needs of my growing baby, and despite what I had to “give up," it made me more cognizant about what I was willing to do for my child's best chance for optimal health.
As I continue to grow in my role of a mother, I know that I won't stop making decisions that are in my daughter's best interests.